Melbourne Comedy Festival: The Great Debate 2015

On Saturday afternoon, David & I went to The Great Debate at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. After missing the Australian Open and the Melbourne Fashion Festival (and some big cricket game, but like that was going to happen), I was determined to finally attend one of the many events Melbourne is famous for!

Last year, David and I watched The Great Debate, huddled up on the couch in our Stradbroke Island Beach Shack (best accomm ever) , avoiding the nasty thunderstorm outside.

We loved it then, and thought it was the perfect event for us this year – we didn’t know who to see, so hedging our bet with six well-known comedians seemed like a good option.

We pre-purchased tickets and arrived ten minutes beforehand, to find that the queue outside Melbourne Town Hall wound around the corner. We followed the queue, along the length of the entire Swanston/Collins St block and joined it near the crossing at Russell St. By the time we started moving, people were queued down the next block too.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival The Great Debate

The topic was “Social Media is Anti-Social”, with Ronny Chieng, Katherine Ryan and Rich Hall on the affirmative, against Joel Creasley, Sara Pascoe and Russell Kane on the negative, moderated by Waleed Aly.

Even though the affirmative team was deemed winner (judged by getting the loudest applause), the negative team was my favourite. Joel Creasley is hilarious and Sara and Russell were also great.

Joel Creasley | Source
Joel Creasley | Source

The only comedian I’d heard of before the show was Joel Creasley, who I’d definitely see again, but I’ll also keep an eye out for Ronny Chieng’s shows in the future, he was great.

Ronny Chieng | Source
Ronny Chieng | Source

It was also a great chance to see some international comedians, who are well-known in their own country, but I’d never heard of. To be fair – I’ve hardly heard of any comedians, as far as the comedy world goes, I live under a rock. They’re probably relatively well known here too.

Sara Pascoe and Russell Kane are British comedians, and since the show I’ve YouTubed Sara’s other stand up shows around the world. I think she’s got a great witty, but humble and laid back approach, which makes her enjoyable to listen to, since I can’t stand ranting comedians. Does anyone else find listening to ranting and raving stressful?

Sara Pascoe | Source
Sara Pascoe | Source

Katherine Ryan is Canadian and Rich Hall is American. Rich’s angry-man comedian style isn’t really my thing, and I thought most of Katherine’s content was a little off topic, but I’ve YouTubed her other stand up shows and I’ve found her to be really sharp, witty and super ballsy.

It was great going to an iconic Melbourne event and experiencing something different. Can’t wait for whatever is next!

Have you been to a comedy festival, or seen live comedy? Let me know what shows you loved in the comments!

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